Celebrates 30 Years of Stewardship
Earning both Napa Green Certified Land and Napa Green Certified Winery distinctions came quite naturally to the team at Seavey Vineyard. Located just off of the Silverado Trail, but seemingly a world away in bucolic, oak-tree studded Conn Valley, Seavey was founded by Mary and Bill Seavey, who established their winery utilizing an environmental ethos that preceded modern-day conventions. “Our parents purchased the land in 1979 and built the winery from a stone barn on the property,” said Art Seavey, Mary and Bill’s son. “They were passionate about preserving open space and farming the land in a way that protects this precious ecosystem. Today, 80 percent of our land (200 acres of which 40 are planted to vine) is in a conservation easement, and we’re composting, utilizing vermiculture and our own livestock to create sustainability.”
A horse and cattle ranch when Mary and Bill purchased the property, the site was originally part of the Franco Swiss Winery operation, of which the original 1800’s stone building now serves as the winery’s quaint tasting room. Believing that the land could once again produce outstanding wines, the Seaveys planted vines and began making wines that immediately caught the attention of the wine world, earning a lauded spot amongst other iconic Cabernet producers.
As a result, the Seavey wine library is one of the most revered in the valley, and its Library Wine Tasting a sought- after wine collector experience.
Mary and Bill’s prescience extended well beyond proper land stewardship; Bill had the foresight to cellar wines from each vintage, a practice instituted with the winery’s first release thirty years ago in 1990. As a result, the Seavey wine library is one of the most revered in the valley, and its Library Wine Tasting a sought-after wine collector experience.
Seavey winemaking in the early years was led by the renowned Philippe Melka, who, with current head winemaker Jim Duane, remains a critical part of the wine- making team. Duane, with Seavey since 2011, received his MS from UC Davis; he worked in New Zealand and Washington State prior to moving to Napa, and before Seavey at Robert Mondavi Winery and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellar. The Seavey duo of Melka/Duane crafts stunning Bordeaux- style varietals (two Cabernet Sauvignons, a Merlot, and a very limited production Chardonnay) while continuing to uphold the vision of Mary and Bill – to create masterful, soulful wines that exude a sense of place, age gracefully, and showcase the unique and stunning capabilities of the 100% estate vineyard.
According to critics such as Robert Parker, Jeb Dunnuck, and Antonio Galloni who regularly award Seavey wines with top scores, they are more than succeeding.
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Article By: Fran Miller